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adamhanlon

Pre dive checklists

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Hi all,

 

I've discovered that I am too thick to manage to check all my DSLR settings before diving, and always seem to have a setting wrong! I can normally correct this underwater, but often I only notice it when I'm about to shoot! Hence missed opportunities.

 

How do other remember their settings check, the things I'm talking about are ISO, white balance, metering mode, exposure mode etc. Do people have a mnemonic?

 

On a similar note, I would be interested if people wouldn't mind sharing their "default" settings-entering the water, between shots etc. As these will vary according to the environment you are shooting in, please let me know if you are a blue or green water shooter!

 

Many thanks

 

Adam

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I use the 2 custom settings on the command dial for "scene" and "macro" setting.

 

On my G9 I used

 

Macro on C1

1/60th

f8.0

AWB

Flash on

 

Scene on C2

ISO200

f2.8

1/60th

Custom White balance 1

Flash off

 

I have yet to get my 50D in saltwater but the same settings can be interpolated to the SLR.

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Default DSLR settings:

 

Macro

1/250s, f/22, rear sync shutter, strobes at half power and diffused

(use strobe to subject distance to fine tune exposure)

 

Wide Angle

1/30s, f/8, rear sync shutter, strobe power depends on distance

(adjust strobe power/position for foreground exposure)

(use shutter speed to adjust ambient background; higher = darker, lower = brighter)

 

Shoot calibration shots when you first get to the bottom (same distance from subject, same strobe locations)

-dial your exposure in with the RGB histograms (Important: learn how to read the histograms)

-adjust your strobe positions until you see the lighting you want

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Any reason you prefer rear curtain sync?

 

Any motion blur will only be exposed by ambient light (far weaker than strobe)

and will be behind your subject's direction of travel (instead of in front of your subject in open water; easily seen; distracting).

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I was going to asked the same with regards the rear sync:) Very interesting! I take it does hold true for both compact and slr setups?

 

Any good on-line links you have for learning more about the histogram?

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Default DSLR settings:

 

Wide Angle

1/30s, f/8, rear sync shutter, strobe power depends on distance

(adjust strobe power/position for foreground exposure)

(use shutter speed to adjust ambient background; higher = darker, lower = brighter)

 

How do you steady the camera to prevent blur at 1/30s?

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How do you steady the camera to prevent blur at 1/30s?

 

1/30s is not that slow for wide angle.

(some people even go down to 1/15s; I shoot in Monterey, home of green water and kelp canopies , 25' vis is a good day.)

 

The mass of the housing, arms, and strobes provide pretty good stabilization for shooting at 1/30s.

Also, the strobe freezes the action. Although, unless you're shooting something fast (i.e., sealions) you shouldn't have to worry too much about freezing action. Lots of slow and non-moving subjects.

 

If you want to shoot faster, up your ISO.

 

Take Care,

ChrisS

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I normally have my Custom Menu and Shooting Menu banks set and named something like UW JPG or UW NEF.

And then I just select them before the dive, and set my camera to NEF or JPG as necessary, at ISO 200, WB to Cloudy, this is easy because it is the 3 buttons on top the right hand dial on my D300, then MODE to M.

And a quick look at the top LCD is enough to see if anything else is left, like ISO AUTO, Exp Compensation or Flash Exp Comp., Flash Sync Mode...

 

If you want a checklist, this is basically what I do for the camera:

- Select Banks;

- Top controls (ISO, WB, QUAL + MODE);

- Check Dials (as I put the camera in the housing I check all the dials positions);

- LCD check.

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If you want to shoot faster, up your ISO.

 

Take Care,

ChrisS

 

With my Olympus C-8080, I used ISO 50 for closeup shots and ISO 100 for other shots (occasionally ISO 200). At ISO 200 the noise was noticeable in wreck shots and at ISO 400 the noise was very, very noticeable. I have recently purchased a Canon Xsi and hope to house it within a few months. How high an ISO would be reasonable with the Canon Xsi?

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I normally have my Custom Menu and Shooting Menu banks set and named something like UW JPG or UW NEF.

And then I just select them before the dive, and set my camera to NEF or JPG as necessary, at ISO 200, WB to Cloudy, this is easy because it is the 3 buttons on top the right hand dial on my D300, then MODE to M.

And a quick look at the top LCD is enough to see if anything else is left, like ISO AUTO, Exp Compensation or Flash Exp Comp., Flash Sync Mode...

 

If you want a checklist, this is basically what I do for the camera:

- Select Banks;

- Top controls (ISO, WB, QUAL + MODE);

- Check Dials (as I put the camera in the housing I check all the dials positions);

- LCD check.

:turtle:

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